Bourbon Spiced Mystery Ale

Bruce and I whipped up what was supposed to be BS Brewing’s first attempt at a brown ale on Sunday night. It began as an ordinary brown ale, with a quarter pound of Black Patent and .5 lb. roasted barley steeped for 30 minutes at 155 degrees or so. To that, we added 7.5 lbs. Cooper’s Amber Extract and boiled for 60 minutes. 1.5 oz. of Bechtel’s homegrown Fuggles served as the boiling hops, with .25 oz. more added in the last 5 minutes. To give it that BS touch, we added 11 sticks of cinnamon (1 oz. jar) for the first 40 minutes of the 60 minute boil.

When the wort settled, we had a wort so dark you could lose your soul in it. How did this happen? Was it the cinnamon? The black patent? Or something more sinister?

At BS Brewing, we believe the best beer is the next beer. Even if the next beer smells like apple pie and looks like liquified evil.

Veering back in the brown ale direciton, I smacked a Wyeast English Ale yeast, but for some odd reason, it never inflated (meaning the yeasties inside weren’t multiplying). I pitched it anyhow, and carved a pentagram into the countertop for luck. Maybe I had it upside down, because it didn’t seem to help.

So followed a next-day trip to the brew store for another yeast to introduce before those nasty wild yeasts lurking in the basement could occupy our mystery wort. To complement the delicious cinnamon flavor, I selected Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey, rumored to be the Chimay yeast. Its mysterious origins and fruity esters would go nicely with our Frankenbeer, I surmised.

Of course, it’s not done yet. When I rack to secondary, I plan to add 2 oz. of toasted (in hell!) American oak chips that have been soaking in a jar of Maker’s Mark for weeks.

This is going to be very interesting.

O.G.: 1.052 @ 70 degrees F.

Update: Bottled May 13, 2007.
F.G.: 1.012 @ 65 degrees F.
ABV: 5.32% abv.

2 thoughts on “Bourbon Spiced Mystery Ale”

  1. Update: transferred today to secondary fermenter and added bourbon-soaked toasted oak chips. Gravity is now 1.019, but I added another shot of yeast, this time Whitelabs 500.

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